How Piers Morgan & Alan Sugar were best of frenemies – until jokey spats finally boiled over in bitter coronavirus feud – The Sun
THEY'VE thrown endless furious insults at each other on Twitter, hit out in explosive rants on TV and even gone personal with catty weight jibes – but Piers Morgan and Alan Sugar have always secretly been the best of frenemies nonetheless.
However, those years of jokey spats are now finally boiling over as they go head to head in a very bitter coronavirus feud, putting their long-term friendship under threat.
While many fans have only ever seen Lord Sugar, 73, and Good Morning Britain host Piers, 55, exchanging very public blows, they've actually managed to remain close behind the scenes the whole time.
From a luxury holiday together last year, to a heartfelt birthday speech and defending each other when things go too far, they've ensured their differences don't have any lasting impact.
However, the pair have now declared all out war on each other amid the Covid-19 outbreak, with Piers branding his rival a "disgrace" and going as far as to block him on Twitter, while Lord Sugar has accused his "former friend" of "exploiting this pandemic for his own gain".
So will the nasty feud prove one step too far for the pair?
Here we look back at how their friendship has previously withstood some of their worst rows…
Their rivalry really began in 2007 when Piers took part in Comic Relief Does The Apprentice – and was promptly fired by Lord Sugar.
In what was a shock outcome for many viewers, Lord Sugar told the contestants: "There is one person here who's more responsible for the general winding people up, it's the demeanour that has cost you this. Mr Piers Morgan, you are fired."
Piers immediately hit back, branding it an "absolute travesty" and adding: "Without my contribution we would have raised a pitiful sum of money that would have made us national laughing stocks."
It proved the start of a series of angry blows online and during TV appearances in the years that followed, as Piers appeared unable to forgive Lord Sugar for his decision.
Speaking eight years later on Good Morning Britain, Piers said: "I raised nearly $200,000 in that one-off extravaganza for Comic Relief, and you responded by firing me!"
Feud fires up – with Piers' mum and even Trump involved
While the pair have often gone head to head on their differing political opinions, as well as criticising each other following interviews, their feud has previously got personal too.
Responding to a news story in 2016 about Piers and his mum Gabrielle, Lord Sugar wrote on Twitter: "Traditionally at birth doctors slap a babies bum. When @piersmorgan was born doctor took one look and slapped his mum."
Refusing to be baited too much however, Piers simply replied: "That joke's almost as old, toe-curling & unfunny as you."
Later that year however it took a very surprising turn when Donald Trump got involved too.
The now-US President, who hosted the US Apprentice, slammed Lord Sugar on Twitter over the UK'S use of wind turbines, and it quickly escalated.
Trump eventually wrote: "Unlike you, I own The Apprentice. You were never successful enough….. and many others. Drop to your knees, Sugar, and say thank you, Mr. Trump."
Not missing the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon, Piers then tweeted: "Don't wish to interfere obviously @realDonaldTrump – but it may be time to fire @Lord_Sugar from YOUR show for his impertinence?"
The feud continued from there, with Sugar firing back and writing: "You have had a charisma bypass."
He added: "You are full of sh**. Trump you have no power over the UK Apprentice."
'You're as fat as a meatball!'
The feuds have only heated up in the years since, with Lord Sugar also pointing the finger at Piers' hosting of GMB.
"You need to be less competitive in wanting to hog the whole show let @susannareid100 speak," he previously wrote.
Spotting the tweet in time, Piers then addressed it on the show, saying: "We've all watched The Apprentice mate. We watched what you do to Karren Brady and I give Susanna far more air time than you give your own female co-workers… So pipe down Lord S."
But while many of their comments are cutting to say the least, others take on a more comical side.
In December 2016, Lord Sugar phoned in to GMB shortly after landing from Florida, during a discussion with former Apprentice star Nick Hewer.
Kicking off the insults from the get-go, he said: “I turned on the TV and saw Piers – it’s enough to give me morning sickness."
However, proving they truly are good friends underneath the insults, Piers later admitted: "It pains me to say this but underneath the hideous exterior, the growling, unpleasant demeanour actually he's not a bad bloke."
I saw you prancing around in the summer, you looked like a beached whale.
A year later, things took another funny turn when Lord Sugar commented on Piers’ well-known feud with model Emily Ratajowski over her controversial shoot for the LOVE magazine calendar, in which she's seen writhing around on a table of spaghetti in red and white underwear.
Lord Sugar wrote: “You should be writhing naked in Spaghetti as you look and are as fat as meat ball (sic)”.
It's not the only time the pair have exchanged jibes on each other's weight, as Lord Sugar previously told his rival: “I saw you prancing around in the summer, you looked like a beached whale”, to which Piers hit back saying Sugar had been "chunking up a bit".
They've even turned to limericks
Perhaps one of the most creative ways both of them have hit out at each other is through funny limericks, with some impressive ones emerging following Boris Johnson's appointment as PM.
Lord Sugar immediately wrote: “There was a young fellow called Piers / Who’s been grovelling to leaders for years / When he lost his Trump mojo / He took up with BoJo / And now he is kissing new rears.”
In response, Piers created his own: "There was an old growler called Alan, / Whose hypocrisy should merit a ban / ‘Jail Boris!’ he cried / But then Al’s integrity died / And now he’s a lick-spittle Johnson fan.”
'There's actually a certain comararderie'
While they're first to criticise each other, Piers and Lord Sugar are also quick to defend each other if things go too far as well.
And it happened most noticeably in 2015 when Piers was accused of racism over his views in an opinion piece for the Daily Mail on Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift's MTV VMAs feud.
The piece accused Minaj of "playing the race card" after the musician claimed she could have won the award if she were a “different ‘kind’ of artist".
Seeing the stream of angry tweets from Minaj's fans, Lord Sugar wrote: "I can confirm Piersy is not a racist he is too thick."
Sure enough, Lord Sugar has previously confirmed that the pair are friends, despite their feuds.
"Look, lets make it very clear here. He insults me on Twitter – but there's actually a certain comerarderie on there because I look after him," he previously told The Mirror.
Parties and holidays together
The pair truly confirmed their friendship last year when they were pictured on holiday together with legendary British actress Dame Joan Collins.
The trio enjoyed dinner at St Tropez's fancy Le Club 55 and Piers couldn't resist sharing a picture of his impressive guests on social media.
He followed the snap with a picture of his arm wrapped around Lord Alan as he puffed on a cigar. He captioned the snap: "El Chapos."
Meanwhile, Lord Sugar even gave a speech at Piers' 50th birthday bash, reportedly saying: "Now I would class Piers as a genuine friend. I say genuine… There are some parts of him that aren’t totally genuine, like his teeth and his hair."
Furious coronavirus feud destroying long-term friendship?
Despite their close friendship withstanding the Twitter abuse over the years however, Piers and Lord Sugar are currently embroiled in their worst feud to date – so much so, Piers has even blocked his frenemy on Twitter.
It began when Lord Sugar called on his rival to lighten up and stop his hounding of the UK government over their response to the outbreak.
"Listen to the people @piersmorgan. We need some positive stuff in these horrible times try to lighten up a bit and find some thing interesting to talk about," he wrote on Twitter.
With a somewhat dramatic reply Piers bluntly replied: "OK, blocking you now until this is over. Too serious for your idiocy."
The temporary block didn't stall their rows however, as days later Lord Sugar quoted Piers, saying: "NHS TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED AND I WILL HELP YOU GET IT."
He then added: "Dear Mr Morgan we need 25,000 ventilators please deliver ASAP. Pathetic man . I think he needs the NHS psychiatric department as he is delusional."
Piers immediately accused him of doing "f**k all during this crisis", adding: "Get off your a**e & do something for NHS staff. Your behaviour is a disgrace."
From there, the pair have slammed each other over their views on sunbathers, with Lord Sugar claiming there's no danger if people remain far apart. It proved enough for Piers to call time on their friendship once and for all.
"I'm done with @Lord_Sugar, trust me," he wrote. "His behaviour over this crisis has been an absolute disgrace, especially for a peer.
"But when he actively encourages British people to go out sunbathing, I can't just sit back & say nothing. His reckless, shameful stupidity will kill people."
Piers hammered his message home on GMB shortly after, referring to his rival as "formerly a friend of mine".
Now, as Piers continues to grill ministers on the morning show, Lord Sugar is showing no signs of letting up and attempting to repair their friendship, as he's since accused him of "exploiting this pandemic for his own gain", and said he was using tactics to "become a martyr".
Let's hope there's still a friendship to salvage when this is all over.
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